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A bevy of stalwarts from different walks of life, including founder of Reliance Industries late Dhirubhai Ambani, former Governor Jagmohan, actors Anupam Kher and Ajay Devgn and badminton star Saina Nehwal were honoured with Padma awards on Monday.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, renowned dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy, former CAG Vinod Rai, folk singer Malini Awasthi, 'sage of agriculture' Subhash Palekar and celebrated chef Mohammed Imtiaz Qureshi were among the 56 eminent persons who were honoured by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Kokilaben Ambani received the Padma Vibhushan given to her husband Dhirubhai Ambani posthumously amidst loud applause and in attendance of close family members, including two sons -- RIL chief Mukesh Ambani and Reliance ADA Chairman Anil Ambani.
Apart from Ambani, US-based economist Avinash Kamalakar Dixit, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan, one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical dance Yamini Krishnamurthy and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar were awarded with Padma Vibhushan.
Those who were honoured with Padma Bhushan include renowned architect Hafeez Sorab Contractor, Editor-in- Chief of Ajit group of newspapers Barjinder Singh Hamdard, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, construction tycoon and chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji group Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, Badminton sensation Saina Nehwal, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai, renowned scientist Alla Venkata Rama Rao and chairman of Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, Duvvur Nageshwar Reddy.
The President presented five Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and 43 Padma Shri awards at the Civil Investiture Ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The 43 Padma Shri awardees include Director of ISRO Satellite Centre Mylswamy Annadurai, folk singer Malini Awasthi, President and CEO of Master Card Ajaypal Singh Banga, film maker Madhur R Bhandarkar, leading harmonium player Pandit Tulsidas Borkar, chairman of Interventional Cardiology at Medanta hospital Praveen Chandra and Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn.
Social worker from Assam Ajoy Kumar Dutta, Gujarati folk artist Bhikhudan Govindbhai Gadhvi, cardio-thoracic and transplant surgeon Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale, renowned painter from Telangana Kala Laxma Goud, ophthalmologist Mahipati M Joshi, philanthropist from Tamil Nadu Damal Kandadai Srinivasan and vice-chancellor of King George's Medical University, Lucknow Ravi Kant were honoured with Padma Shri.
Archer Deepika Kumari, pediatrician Shiv Narain Kureel, theatre director and film maker of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Naresh Chander Lal, columnist Ashok Malik, Supreme Court lawyer M N Krishnamani, environmentalist Mahesh Chander Mehta, Kerala industrialist Sundar Menon, Odiya poet Haladhar Nag, Gandhian and freedom fighter P Gopinath Nair were given Padma Shri by the President.
Maharashtra-based farmer Subhash Palekar, who is known as 'sage of agriculture' for helping around 50 lakh farmers across the country for increasing production, film-maker from Odisha Nila Madhab Panda, advertisement guru Piyush Pandey, columnist Pushpesh Pant, celebrated chef Mohammed Imtiaz Qureshi, founder of Sun Pharma Dilip S Shanghvi, literature and educationist from Assam Prahlad Chandra Tasa were honoured with the Padma Shri.
Government had announced Padma awards for 112 eminent persons on the eve of Republic Day.
The rest of the awardees, including superstar Rajinikanth, actor Priyanka Chopra and tennis star Sania Mirza, will be given the honour at a separate function to be held next month.